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Change military cost structure

Sep 21, 2023
Just my opinion but, I think to make civilization more enjoyable...Military units should cost population and growth rates and take far fewer turns to build. Ancient units should have very little to no production costs, As units become more complicated, production cost should go up some but not as much as they currently do. Ability to produce a unit should be dependent on city improvements like they are with boats and planes. It shouldn't take hundreds of years to make settlers. This would increase boarder skirmishes for good settlements and resources and make the balancing act of war, science, culture and wealth more engaging. Diplomacy should be more forgiving after several decades of peace.
Not sure about the cost of military units (pop+food*), but I agree with the rest.

* Well in the idea in my signature this is it, except military units feed themselves by working at least 2 food tiles every turn, or 1 or 0 if another one works 3 or 4 food tile. (would kind of represent logistic without the need to bring another non-combatant unit or stack)
Not sure about the cost of military units (pop+food*), but I agree with the rest.

* Well in the idea in my signature this is it, except military units feed themselves by working at least 2 food tiles every turn, or 1 or 0 if another one works 3 or 4 food tile. (would kind of represent logistic without the need to bring another non-combatant unit or stack)
If a military unit is fortified in a city it should cost some food. Having a unit work a tile for food is a good idea. The population growth cost should only take effect when a unit has left its city of origin. I have some more in depth ideas about the mechanics of making military units. Either way my real gripe is that each turn cost 20 years or so, and it takes 30 turns to build your first archer? (Give or take a few turns). The pyramids took about 20 years each.
Problem is the "pushing units" philosophy which is disconnected from such large portions of time. If you make it possible to produce multiple units in 1 turn (ancient), you would still have to move these units for several turns. Unless you make all units having a base from which it would attack within a range immediately, but it wouldn't be so Civ anymore... I guess.

But yeah, scaling production with years instead of turns seems the inevitable best choice for a game starting in 4000 B.C. or 12.000 B.C. Turns would be intense and long since the first one. A problem could be the lack of vision of what's up to come, like enemy reinforcements though.
I'm not sure I follow.
I think I'd be ok with making the time passage staying small throughout game play, maybe 5 to 10 years at a time but make wonders, science, civic and large improvements take longer. It would be more about securing resources and balancing population growth, food, development etc. As technology progressed the time to research new tech could take less time, because that tends to be the trend anyway. Early game play would be more about establishing a region of control and maintaining it. Keeping citizens happy, productive, growing, and protected.
More units means larger more strategic battles. Not as in depth as Total War's Medieval. But terrain bonus, flanking etc. still part of it and more battles with more then 1 to 2 units at a time. And less likely to loose cities to bandits. A subtle balance would still be required. Cities could collapse and/or rebel with poor management of troops and production. Cities could decide they wish to join another empire because they have fallen behind production and luxury development, etc.
Don't forget, in considering Build Times, costs, maintenance resources, that the relative size of military units has to also change dramatically if the game is to stay playable.

The largest regular units in Ancient Era were about 600 men (or 120 chariots in Egypt), which is slightly smaller than the average Battalion in the 20th century (Modern Era). The standard 'Infantry unit' of the Modern Era was the Infantry Division of 12,000 - 18,000 men, a 'unit' 20 - 30 times larger than that of the Ancient Era.

So, I think you have to consider all the Build Times, Resources, Population, etc required to form military Units are also on a 'sliding scale' throughout the game, if you don't want your modern Super State to have a military force smaller than that of 1940 Latvia.

As to population requirements for units, I think we have to divide the basic population into two categories: the basic Population Points and Specialists. Consider that each population point represents both the bulk of the population (throughout most of history and game time) working the land, and a much smaller group of people with special skills, education, training, manning the structures in the cities - the Markets, Temples, Palace administrators, Harbors, etc. For most of history the military was a tiny percentage of the total population (except, notably, among the pastoral nomads, where just about every adult male was potentially a 'warrior', having riding and shooting skills as part of his 'civilian' herd-guarding job) so that building a military unit would not affect the overall population 'points' appreciably. For game purposes, though, it could be modeled to require Specialist points - to affect how well your City works even though the bulk of the rural population is untouched by it all.

This, of course, changes when a city and its region is sacked or razed and the entire population dies, disperses, or is hauled off to the slave markets. It also changes at about the Industrial Era when mass conscription become normal and, again, virtually every adult male is potentially recruitable as a basic Soldier. This ties in neatly with the sliding scale of units: Ancient/Classical/Medieval/Renaissance armies typically were 10,000 - 40,000 men, rarely over 100,000 because it was simply too hard to keep 100,000 men and their animals fed with the technology available. Napoleon in 1800 - 1815 regularly fought battles with over 100,000 men on both sides and Imperial France maintained total forces in excess of 500,000 men for most of that period. By a century later (Modern Era - 1914) France went to war with over 3,000,000 men mobilized, and that was such a large percentage of the male work force it substantially affected industrial and agricultural production.

So, up to the Industrial Era recruiting a military should not affect the overall Population - unless you engage in continuous, long term warfare, which could be modeled by reducing your population increase rate substantially as you remove young males from the population continuously, as happened in Sweden in the 17th century (Renaissance Era). For balance, this could be linked to adopting some form of conscription (as Sweden had), which gives you cheap military units but also is balanced by slowly reducing your population to a static number that hurts you in the long run (as it did Sweden in the 18th century).

From the Industrial Era (Universal Conscription) on, recruiting the modern military units that average 10,000 or more men per unit bites into your working population Immediately, and part of your 'war planning' must include how to balance the work force (both Specialists and rural Population) for production, agriculture and all other civilian requirements with the population going into uniform. This became a nearly overwhelming problem for almost all the participants in WWII: Germany had an industrial manpower shortage that materially reduced production from 1941 on, the Soviet Union ran its factories after 1941 almost entirely with women and children as industrial workers (and agricultural, and recruited almost a million women into uniform), while Great Britain was disbanding whole divisions in 1944 for lack of manpower to maintain them - and a large fleet, and a large strategic bombing force, and her industry, and the USA started integrating black troops into the segregated regular army divisions because, by late 1944, they were the only troops left in the USA trained as infantrymen: everybody's normal 'manpower pool' was reaching the bottom by the last year of the war if not sooner.
I'm not sure I follow.
Why are turns counting for 40 years at start and only one at the end ?

- If every turn was counting for 1 year, then every game would run in about 6000 turns, instead of 500. (normal speed) Some might judge it's too much. (12 times more)
- Progress is seen as exponential*. Therefore, to keep a seemingly same pace during all the course of a game, for realism AND playability purposes, the first turns are 40 years and the lasts 1 only. And if tech pacing is more or less exponential, and the number of turns the same during all the game, we would either have hundreds things happening during the modern times in 1 turn, and basically nothing in early times. (or we should wait 320 turns or so to discover our first tech - exciting ? You mean we should need less turns to build units, but why build workers if we can't improve anything ? What about early choices like committing into a wonder or getting military or expand ? The only viable "choices" would be expansion + military) Actually my idea is the contrary, there would be tons of things happening early in one turn, except the UI would be thought out for that, but it would be different from the "pushing units" philosophy of the actual series.
- History is more well-known by people if it's some decades, one century old. Therefore there is a distorsion effect that make us feel recent History is more detailled, and it's even true - I guess- with the XXth century.

* Then why techs costs keep growing past 1900 ? Because the steps represented are longer.

Anyone seeing any other reason to this ?
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Anyone seeing any other reason to this ?
Just out of curiosity.

Because if we make it so 1 turn is always 10 years, that would be 600 turns only, and the increasing costs would balance increasing science and production like it already does in some way.
Just out of curiosity.

Because if we make it so 1 turn is always 10 years, that would be 600 turns only, and the increasing costs would balance increasing science and production like it already does in some way.
As apparently attractive as a continuous 10 years/turn seems, I suspect it will run into the problem of Expectations from the gaming public. In that scheme, while overall numbers of turns remains roughly the same (although in Civ VI, I've never had a game go more than 300 turns, so the nominal 500 turns is a a joke) the historical Events we are supposedly recreating become more and more out of synch with the game turns.

All of World War Two takes place in about .6 of a turn.
Major 20th century (Modern - Atomic Eras) Regional Wars like the Balkan Wars, Russo-Japanese War, Korean War (1950 - 53) take place in .3 to .5 turns
Even earlier events, like the entire Napoleonic Wars take place in a about 2 turns, the US Civil War in .5 turns

The game's Time Scale is already grossly at odds with most IRL events that people are familiar with (20th century events, primarily) but this would make it appear even more at variance, and create even more of a disconnect between apparent reality and the game.
Thx for the answer Boris.

Yeah, that's basically my third point. But anyway, we cannot recreate WWs in Civ because war last 10 turns minimum. I think that with grievances system like the one in Civ6, we could get away from that limit.
Actually, with a well-designed One Turn Battle system in which the tactical/operational battles all take place in one turn on one tile with all the units, we could come close. Right now, the 1UPT 'battles' sprawl over half a nation's territory from the start and take multiple turns unless there is a dramatic mis-match in units so that destroying even one infantry unit can take the equivalent of years or decades.

Given the Grand Strategy Scope of any game that tries to encompass 6000+ years, we can never get an accurate 'battle' scale without devolving into a separate combat game-within-a-game: as Humankind has unfortunately showed, that gets interminably tedious fast. But we can get closer than the 1UPT time and distance scale travesty we have now.
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